John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

BeBuzz Pro BB10 ap review

Taking control of your notifications (sound, LED, vibrations) on your device is key to keeping the intrusions into your day to a minimum. Sadly most devices including the Z10/Q10 do not do this well. Out of the box BB10 has a limited number of sounds. You can control the sounds for a specific individual’s emails, calls etc in the contacts ap but there is no ability to change the color of the notification LED. It’s either on or off. Yet the LED itself can do different colors. There’s also no reminder setting for insuring you don’t miss a message from an important person. Android wasn’t a whole lot better (out of the box). On Android the Priority Inbox for gmail was awesome. I had hoped the Priority hub in BB10 would do something similar but sadly Blackberry left off one key item, the ability to notify only for the priority Inbox. A HUGE miss. And one that makes the Priority hub nothing more than a display filter on the hub. Sad …

This is where BeBuzz steps in. You can use BeBuzz to take over all control of your notifications. And with it you can completely control message reminders, vibrate, tones, and color of the notification LED based on an individual. It really does have a ton of flexibility. So much so that I bought the app at $2.99. I have noticed BB apps are definitely more expensive than Android apps. This is at least partially do to the smaller number of apps, thus less competition IMHO. BeBuzz really does a good job but there are a couple of places that could be improved. Each time you add a contact you have to go through all the settings, (each email type, ring etc) for each individual. So that means LED/Sound/Vibrate/Popup for each account type. So for my device I have three email accounts, text message, Google talk, Windows live and missed call. So there are a total of 7×4 or 28 settings for each individual.

Now BeBuzz has a handful of new sounds over and above what is in BB10 and you can add your own sounds, but this is clumsy to say the least. There’s no ability to import a sound into BeBuzz which would help. So each time you choose to add a sound not in BeBuzz you have to navigate to find it. Multiply this times the number of settings, times the number of contacts and this is tedious. And there’s no ability to group individuals. Lastly there’s no ability pattern a new individual off an existing one. So all in all it is time consuming to set it up.

One of the limitations of BB10 is that is does not allow for auto starting of an app when BB boots. So you need to keep this in mind and start BeBuzz each time. And of course, don’t close it. This isn’t BeBuzz’s fault, its a platform limitation. They wisely added a are you sure when you quit. And do remember there is also a limitation of only having 8 things running in the background so this takes one of those. This is being fixed in upcoming releases of the operating system but this is where it is at for now.

Bebuzz even allows you to set a sleep time and allows you to control notification settings while in the sleep times. One missing item would be to change the sleep times on weekends. It’s one setting for all days. Some of us like to sleep in on the weekend 🙂 This is again something missing from the native Operating system.

There’s one mistake BeBuzz made that I hope they will correct. It ignores phone notification settings. This could be a platform limitation but if I’m in silent or all notifications off BeBuzz still makes sound/vibrate etc. This is particularly bad if your trying to sleep. So if you use BeBuzz for all your sound/vibrate settings remember you will need to close BeBuzz, or select Silent mode in BeBuzz (as well as the OS if you are using both) before you go to sleep. Of course the easier thing to do is to put the phone in silent mode and do everything with BeBuzz.

One nice thing about BeBuzz is when it’s running in the background it gives a nice battery status screen. Nicely done.

By the way I got a neat tip from Crackberry that to take a screen shot simply push up and down volume at the same time. Cool!

Be sure and drag from the top and go into settings for even more flexibility!

The app has a backup and restore function, but when I tried it after an OS reload it didn’t work right and I had to totally redo the setup 😦

All in all this is a good app, with tons of flexibility. With a few improvements it could be a great app! I really hope they continue to improve it. It really does fill a HUGE gap BlackBerry haven’t fixed even in 10.2.1.


January 14, 2014 - Posted by | Blackberry 10

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